In March, Activision revealed that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare had sold 12 million copies after nearly 17 months on the market. If one analyst is right, it might not take very long for Modern Warfare 2 to beat that mark.
In a note to investors today, Janco Partners' Mike Hickey predicted that Modern Warfare 2 would sell through to consumers 11.1 million copies in less than two months. He says the game can achieve that mark with the help of a ramped-up preorder campaign courtesy of Activision, the more-than-doubled size of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 installed bases since the release of the original Modern Warfare, and the series' massive fan base.
"On May 26 2009, Infinity Ward's community manager Robert Bowling 'fourzerotwo' commented that Call of Duty 4 has over 13 million unique users on Xbox 360," Hickey explained. "A particularly impressive number considering an estimated 30 percent of Xbox's installed base is not connected to Xbox Live. On January 8, 2009, Bowling estimated that there were over 4 million unique online users on the PS3 platform and over 10 million on the Xbox 360. We assume the PS3 unique users have now eclipsed 5 million based on Xbox 360 identified online user growth of 30 percent."
That puts Hickey's estimated online Call of Duty 4 gamers at 18 million. Assume that 30 percent of Call of Duty fans don't take their systems online, and Hickey believes that the potential market for Modern Warfare 2 consists of a whopping 25.7 million gamers.
Putting it bluntly, Hickey said, "We believe Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will likely be the largest video game release for [calendar year] '09."
Modern Warfare 2 will release on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 November 10. For more on the title.